Business License FAQ's


 What is a business license?

A business license is a business tax paid to the City in order to conduct business legally within the City limits. The purpose of the license is to generate revenue for the City of Canyon Lake to provide police and fire protection, fire and crime prevention and many other community services.

 Is a business license all I need to conduct business legally?

The issuance of a business license does not entitle the license holder to carry on any business which is otherwise prohibited. It may be necessary for you to obtain a Certificate of Occupancy, a Conditional Use Permit and/or any other City, State, or Federal approvals before your business may operate. Please call City Hall at (951) 244-2955 for more information.

 Who needs a business license?

All businesses operating in the City of Canyon Lake are required to have a business license. This includes businesses which operate from a home. You also must license if you are a contractor or subcontractor doing business in Canyon Lake on any job.

 When and where do I obtain a business license?

A license must be obtained prior to the start of your business. Obtaining your license prior to conducting business will allow you to avoid penalties that may be incurred. You can start by downloading an application here.

 How do I renew my Business License?

All City of Canyon Lake Business Licenses expire on December 31 each year.  Licenses must be renewed each year – Failure to renew will result in penalties.  Prior to the end of the calendar year, renewal notices are sent out to all business license owners informing them to come into City Hall to renew.

 What do I need to do if I move or change owners in my business?

Business licenses are approved for a specific location. A license is issued to a specific owner; a change in ownership requires a new license. Any move will require a new application and review by appropriate City departments. Please call City Hall at (951) 244-2955 for more information.

 When will I receive my Business License?

Your completed Business License Application and applicable fees must be received by the Business License Department before your license will be issued. Once all City requirements have been met and your license is paid for, you will receive a license number and your license will be mailed to you within one to two weeks.

 Do you require a copy of my State Contractor’s License?

If you claim contractor status on your business license application, please attach proof of a valid Contractor’s License from the California State Licensing Board.

 Do I need a Seller’s Permit/Resale Number?

Any sales of tangible items require a sellers permit from the California State Board of Equalization by calling (951) 680-6400, located at 3737 Main St. 10th Floor #1000, Riverside CA 92501. If you already have a valid sellers permit but it is not registered for your new business, you must contact the California State Board of Equalization regarding changes and/or additions. Applications must be done online only.

 Do I need a Fictitious Business Name?

California law requires that every person who regularly transacts business for profit under a fictitious name file and publish a Fictitious Name Statement. To file a statement, please contact the Riverside County Clerk Recorders Office at (951) 766-2500, or Golding Publications at (951) 244-1966. Attach a copy of your Fictitious Name Statement to your business license application.